Monday, 15 February 2010
Review: My So-Called Afterlife by Tamsyn Murray
"I knew it was time to move on when a tramp peed on my Uggs..." Meet Lucy Shaw. She's not your average fifteen year old - for a start, she's dead. And as if being a ghost wasn't bad enough, she's also trapped haunting the men's toilets on Carnaby Street. So when a lighting engineer called Jeremy walks in and she realises he can see and hear her, she isn't about to let him walk out of her afterlife. Not least until he's updated her on what's happening in her beloved soaps. With Jeremy's help, Lucy escapes the toilet and is soon meeting up with other ghosts, including the perpetually enraged Hep and the snogtastic Ryan. But when Jeremy suggests Lucy track down the man who murdered her, things go down hill. Can Lucy face up to the events of that terrible night? And what will it cost her if she does?
I am finding this a very difficult book to review for this blog. Why? Well I really enjoyed reading it but I don't know how many boys would get on with it. Boys are very picky when it comes to choosing their stories, and a female main character is quite often an aspect that will discourage them. Unless it is Lara Croft, of course. The book is also narrated in the first person.... OK for boys when this is another boy, but when it is a girl narrating then 9 times out of 10 they won't be interested. Add to this melting pot the fact that Lucy, the main character in this book, mentions Ugg boots within the very first sentence and you will have many a boy reaching for his games console of choice and leaving this book to gather dust. I do not pretend to understand why this is the case as there are many great boy-friendly books out there with female main characters.
However, if you can get past the occasional mention of Uggs and kissing then you will be rewarded with a highly original, very funny and occasionally poignant modern take on the traditional ghost story that will certainly make you laugh out loud, and may even make you cry (yes boys.... it is ok to cry when reading a book). The book only has 184 pages, and believe me, they will race by once you get stuck into the story as the plot races along at a furious pace.
This book has everything a great stroy needs - it is well written, it has realistic and memorable characters, sparkling dialogue, incredible humour and moments of nail-biting tension. Boys..... if you're still unsure then show your sister this review (or even better go and buy the book for her), then when she isn't looking sneak a read of her copy as it really is worth your time!
I will be perfectly honest and say I was a little unsure when Tamsyn Murray contacted me on Twitter asking if I would like to review this book for my blog as I didn't know whether it would be to my taste. However, it is good once in a while to try something a little different and I am really glad I did, so thanks to Tamsyn and her publishers for sending me a copy. My So-Called Afterlife is published by Piccadilly and is available in stores now.